Cat Striking Back (Joe Grey Series #15)

Cat Striking Back (Joe Grey Series #15)

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by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
     
 

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"Why is it, Joe, that you are always the one to find the body?"

On a lovely moonlit night, while carrying a gift of mice to a litter of kittens, Joe Grey stumbles upon a murder scene. Behind an empty house, in an empty swimming pool, there's blood, the smell of human death, and drag marks. But there's no victim—and it's hard to prove a crime without a

Overview

"Why is it, Joe, that you are always the one to find the body?"

On a lovely moonlit night, while carrying a gift of mice to a litter of kittens, Joe Grey stumbles upon a murder scene. Behind an empty house, in an empty swimming pool, there's blood, the smell of human death, and drag marks. But there's no victim—and it's hard to prove a crime without a corpse.

Driven by stubborn feline curiosity, Joe Grey sets out to investigate. With Dulcie and Kit following him along a killer's trail, Joe discovers evidence of conflict among the residents of this seemingly peaceful neighborhood—multiple signs of breaking-and-entering, with nothing of value stolen. And they find something far worse: hints of violence yet to come . . . and more planned murder.

With the help of two local ferals, Joe, Kit, and Dulcie must now thwart a killer using the most unorthodox means at their disposal: a criminal's unnatural yet powerful fear of cats.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“Joe continues to be one of the most entrancing (and effective) detectives in modern cozy mysteries.”
Publishers Weekly
In Murphy's magical 15th mystery to feature tomcat Joe Grey (after Feb. 2009's Cat Playing Cupid), an anonymous tip leads Det. Juana Davis of the Molina Point, Calif., PD to an empty swimming pool, where she finds trace evidence of a murder but no corpse. When Sage, a feral feline, catches the canny killer in the act of placing the victim in a ditch dug in the garage floor of a house being remodeled, the cat-hating sociopath throws a hammer at Sage. Sage survives to report what he's witnessed to his cat pals who live with humans, including Joe. With so many smart four-footed sleuths on his trail, the killer is doomed. As in recent entries in this popular series, the cat detectives receive more face time than their two-footed cohorts, like Molina Point's often bumbling if well-intentioned police chief, Max Harper, who gets on the stick only late in the game. Mystery fans who prefer people in action will have to look elsewhere. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
Sleuthing feline Joe Grey's back in this find-the-victim mystery. When Detective Juana Davis gets a phone call from an anonymous source tipping her off about a suspected murder, she doesn't ask a lot of questions. She's heard this voice before, and she knows that questions won't get her anywhere. So she trustingly follows the source's tip to a suburban backyard pool, where she finds no body but mysterious traces of blood. So begins the latest adventure of cat detective Joe Grey, her anonymous tipster. Readers may remember Joe (Cat Playing Cupid, 2009, etc.) as the cat who talks not only with his feline companions but also with a few lucky humans. While Murphy's frequent exposition of the rules of kitty conversation acts as a continuing plague, her premise, a mystery that withholds the identities of both the victim and the perp, is intriguing. Joe knows the pair must be one of four husband/wife sets in the neighborhood, but which is it? He, Dulcie, Kit and their human friends Clyde and Ryan must band together to lead Detective Davis through the clues before the mystery man strikes back at the cat detectives. One thing's for sure: Whatever sinister baddie is behind this homicide hates cats-the most egregious sin Murphy can imagine. Readers new to Murphy's fanciful and highly anthropomorphized mental world of cats might best approach this installment as a dialogue-free zone.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061124006
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/30/2010
Series:
Joe Grey Series, #15
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
162,410
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 11.72(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

In addition to her popular Joe Grey mystery series for adults, for which she has received ten national Cat Writers' Association Awards for best novel of the year, Shirley Rousseau Murphy is a noted children's book author who has received five Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists awards. Two of her children's books were written in collaboration with her husband, Pat.

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Cat Striking Back (Joe Grey Series #15) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Granted, considering the number sold it's doubtful that there are many first-time readers of Rousseau's Joe Grey series, but just in case there are a few things that should be accepted for prime enjoyment of this fun, part fantasy, all mystery story. First, decide that it's ok for cats to talk, to one another and to their human friends. Second, accept the fact that Joe is a cat and a full-time detective who will dare almost anything until the crime in question is solved. There, now that's settled prepare for the 15th installment of his sleuthing shenanigans. Joe is padding through Molena Point toting a four course meal for a nursing mother cat when his sharp senses detect a smell that stopped him, " smell that made his fur bristle." It was the awful odor of blood and human death. He follows this to an abandoned property and an empty swimming pool. The pool's bottom is covered in muddy slime but it's also clear that something, something large has been dragged across one end of the pool. Joe is able to follow a trail that leads to where what he believes to be a body is dragged, tire marks indicate the body was put in a car and taken away. He calls the police, and then after taking food to the hungry mother cat returns to the scene only to find that in such a brief period someone has hosed down the area removing the evidence he had seen. Who and why? No sooner had Joe made his report and hardly had time to ponder the strange goings-on when houses in the neighborhood are broken into. Strange robberies if that is what they are as nothing seems have been taken. Four houses that have been entered are vacant as the owners are on vacation. Joe, his lady, Dulcie, and friend Kit begin going house to house trying to put a few pieces of this strange puzzle together. These are really odd break-ins and Joe knows there's been a murder but there is no body. What can the crime busting kitties do next? A couple of feral cats join them while continuing to marvel at the strange ways of humans. Joe and his two-footed friends certainly have their work cut out for them and readers have one more Joe Grey mystery to enjoy. - Gail Cooke
antarcticdream More than 1 year ago
Once again Ms. Murphy has produced a compeling and enjoying mystery. Joe, Dulcie, Kit, and all of the wild bunch team up this time. It's a must-read, as are all of Ms. Murphy's Joe Grey Mysteries!
PurrsonNJ More than 1 year ago
Great addition to the previous 14 books of the Joe Grey Series.
flowersOK More than 1 year ago
I love these books. Makes me want to live there and have a talking cat of my own.. I can't get her books often enough..
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Ms. Murphy does not seem to be at her best in this novel. The plot seemed to be too slow at first. However, who can resist Joe Grey and his friends? If you are a fan of these talking cats, you will want to read this book. It was a little disappointing at first, but the pace picked up later. I am not sorry I purchased this book. And I'd really like a talking cat for my next birthday. This is still an essential purchase if you are a Joe Grey fan!
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Skyhorse More than 1 year ago
As always, sheer fun, adventure and thrills.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
In California after an evening of mouse hunting with his tabby lady Dulcie and their buddy Kit, Joe Grey says good night to them. However he soon realizes that an abandoned home with an empty but open swimming pool has been the recent location of a human homicide. As he has done in the past when he stumbled upon a corpse, he leaves an anonymous tip at the Molina Point Police Department; though he has no dead body this time. Police Detective Juana Davis arrives at the alleged murder scene and finds evidence that a homicide occurred in the pool area. Meanwhile Sage the cat catches the killer interring the corpse in a hole dug in the garage floor of a house undergoing renovation. The feline loathing killer tries to hammer Sage who escapes and reports to Joe and others what happened. Obviously for the cat-loving crowd, the latest Joe Grey feline police procedurals (see CAT PLAYING CUPID) is a lighthearted frolic as the cat-detectives go after a human killer. The Anthropomorphist investigation is fun though the cops seem more Keystone compared with the more knowledgeable in detecting methods cats. Harriet Klausner